Pneumatic Hybrid: Complete redesign needed

Pneumatic hybrid technology is a welcome development in engine design, but it still fails to address the basic fact that the internal combustion engine is extremely inefficient. Heat is primarily viewed as a by-product of the combustion process, but what if we could use heat as an fuel input parameter instead? This is how Guy Nègre and MDI are approaching the problem: a HYBRID compressed air AND external combustion engine (the MDI FlowAir dual-energy engine). The primary force for powering the motor is pneumatic, but the engine design uses an external heater or burner to increase the temperature of the input gases. This acts as a pressure multiplier and increases the available pressure for driving the pistons. This engine design significantly changes the way we view heat and combustion, where the primary fuel is stored compressed air and and an "adjuvant" or secondary fuel is burnt in a continuous combustion process external to the engine. Hybrid technology is good; completely redesigning the engine is even better.

Jean-Marc Blanchette - 03.02.09

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